Disclaimer: Spoiler Alert! We’ll be talking about a few things that happen in the film, specifically the E-2D aircraft, so don’t continue reading if you haven’t watched it yet.

We’re sure most of you have seen the new film, Top Gun: Maverick, and all its glory. The new Tom Cruise-starred film has recently been recorded to break the $1 billion mark worldwide, making it an instant worldwide hit! While everybody was busy fawning over the F/A-18 Super Hornet, eagled-eyed movie fans and military personnel may have spotted the iconic E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft in the film.

Its appearance in the movie is a significant development for the movie franchise as the 1986 Top Gun film did not show or feature the navy version of the AWACS aircraft, which is surprising as the E-2 Hawkeye has been in service since the early 1960s, specifically with the US Navy in 1964. This makes the new Top Gun film more accurate than its predecessor in terms of what actually comprises a carrier battle group.  It also gives it due to one of the most important aircraft on any carrier as the E2D is the eyes of a carrier fleet at sea.

As you may have seen in one of the scenes, Captain Pete Mitchell (callsign Maverick played by Tom Cruise), along with three other F/A-18 Super Hornets, are flying toward an enemy target deep in enemy territory. Swooping into the scene in a cameo is the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, reassuring Maverick and the team that they’re on their radar and that the E-2D can spot anything headed their way to help them prepare if and when enemy fighter jets are en route to them.